Three to buy
(The Sunday Telegraph) Those who think that the virus lockdown will be followed by a rapid return to work would do well to invest in cyclical stocks while they are going cheap. The diversified miners have got their balance sheets in order in recent years and are poised to benefit from any recovery in commodity prices. Weakening emerging market currencies and 18-year lows in oil prices will keep Anglo American’s costs under control. On seven times earnings the shares are a reasonably-priced way to bet on a global recovery. 1,218p
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
(The Mail on Sunday) This small Aim-listed business makes natural, healthy additives for animal feed. Employees have been working “flat-out” during the shutdown as farmers seek to feed both their livestock and the country. The group’s performance in 2019 was robust thanks to healthy sales in Latin America, parts of Asia and the Middle East. The fact that the firm has no debt and £13m in cash in the bank is a further attraction. Concern about the quality of animal feed and its effects on human consumers will only grow over coming years, so the stock is a buy. 325p
(Shares) Shares in this top-quality food producer have dodged the overall market slump. Cranswick is benefiting from two tailwinds: firstly, house-bound consumers are opting for its premium products to create “family treats”. Secondly, a shortage of meat in China after African swine fever opens up new export opportunities. Strong cashflow and a conservative balance sheet are further plus points. 3,630p
Three to sell
(The Times) This American courier service operates more than 180,000 lorries and vans and 679 aircraft worldwide. The world’s largest supplier of express deliveries is certain to be hit by the steep drop-off in business activity and significant disruptions to logistics supply chains. More online orders by consumers and cheaper oil prices bode well. But with the shares on 23 times earnings there are cheaper options elsewhere following the market crash. Avoid. $114
(Investors Chronicle) For a company that specialises in handling cash, G4S has proven a poor steward of shareholders’ money in recent years. The group’s ‘secure solutions’ business accounted for over four-fifths of revenue last year. Management plans are to shift into “technology-enabled” security areas that offer a higher margin, but a disappointing execution track record does not inspire confidence. A “pensions millstone” and £2.1bn in net debt also militate against a turnaround. Over a fifth of revenue comes from cyclical industries so Covid-19 will depress sales. Sell. 88p
(Motley Fool UK) Fashion retailers are bearing the brunt of the pandemic, with like-for-like sales down 25.9% last month. Next makes 43% of its sales from now closed physical outlets, but its burgeoning online operation cannot come to the rescue; it recently stopped taking orders in order to protect the health of warehouse and distribution workers. Ignore the 5% dividend yield. The sales collapse means the payout will be scrapped soon. Avoid. 3,429p
...and the rest
The Daily Telegraph
Shares in many housebuilders have halved but the structural imbalance between housing demand and supply is not going away. A strong balance sheet and opportunities to buy up land on the cheap make Berkeley Group the pick of the bunch (3,615p).
The Mail on Sunday
More frequent hand-washing has seen water usage jump by 10% in some households, making utility firm Severn Trent, which yields 4.7%, a defensive pick for uncertain times. Existing investors should hold and new buyers should take a look (2,149p).
Many commercial landlords are being forced to slash rents, but Supermarket Income Reit offers a rare safe haven. Buy (105p).
The work-from-home boom has generated plenty of buzz around online video conferencing platform Zoom yet the risk-averse will not want to jump in lest its astronomical $48bn valuation should come crashing back down to earth ($146). Self-storage business Safestore has managed to maintain its dividend but could face a tricky time as housing transactions dry up. On 21 times forecast earnings the shares seem fairly priced given the long-term growth prospects. Hold (637p).
Buy drinks maker Diageo: its strong brand, financial track record and long-term growth should leave it “shaken, not stirred” by the pandemic (2,513p). The global lockdown will only accelerate the shift towards online retail, so buy into logistics property company London Metric (163p). The year ahead will be difficult for online fashion retailer Boohoo, but a share price pullback creates an appealing entry point into a long-term winner. Buy (191p).
December 2023 NS&I Premium Bond winners - check now to see what you’ve won
If you hold money in NS&I Premium Bonds, you can check from today (2 December) to see if you have won in the December prize draw. Here’s how to check.
By Vaishali Varu Published
OpenAI – corporate drama unleashed
OpenAI, the firm behind ChatGPT, was in uproar as its boss was booted out, briefly snapped up by Microsoft and then brought back again.
By Dr Matthew Partridge Published
Halifax: House price slump continues as prices slide for the sixth consecutive month
UK house prices fell again in September as buyers returned, but the slowdown was not as fast as anticipated, latest Halifax data shows. Where are house prices falling the most?
By Kalpana Fitzpatrick Published
Rents hit a record high - but is the opportunity for buy-to-let investors still strong?
UK rent prices have hit a record high with the average hitting over £1,200 a month says Rightmove. Are there still opportunities in buy-to-let?
By Marc Shoffman Published
Pension savers turn to gold investments
Investors are racing to buy gold to protect their pensions from a stock market correction and high inflation, experts say
By Ruth Emery Published
Where to find the best returns from student accommodation
Student accommodation can be a lucrative investment if you know where to look.
By Marc Shoffman Published
Best investing apps
We round up the best investing apps. Looking for an easy-to-use app to help you start investing, keep track of your portfolio or make trades on the go?
By Ruth Emery Last updated
The top funds to invest in - November 2023
Tips Investors are focused on income strategies and FTSE heavyweights. We look at what investors have been adding to their portfolios in the last month
By Vaishali Varu Last updated
The world’s best bargain stocks
Searching for bargain stocks with Alec Cutler of the Orbis Global Balanced Fund, who tells Andrew Van Sickle which sectors are being overlooked.
By Andrew Van Sickle Published
Revealed: the cheapest cities to own a home in Britain
New research reveals the cheapest cities to own a home, taking account of mortgage payments, utility bills and council tax
By Ruth Emery Published